Coney’s Oldest Operator: ‘I Should Get the Respect Due’

Photo: Courtesy of Paul’s Daughter

On Tuesday we spoke to the owner of Cha Cha’s, then we heard from the owner of Ruby’s, and now it’s time for 81-year-old Paul Georgoulakos to plead his case. He operates Paul’s Daughter, the beach grub stand that has been on the Coney Island boardwalk for 40 years (Georgoulakos himself has been a part of Coney since 1950, when he operated a milk stand near the train station).

On Wednesday, Paul’s Daughter joined Facebook and has been posting photos from back in the day when it was known as Gregory & Paul’s, and the Astroland Moon Rocket was perched on the roof of one of its three locations (the first location opened off the boardwalk almost 50 years ago). The above rendering of a revamped restaurant was submitted to Central Amusement International by Paul’s daughter Tina, who inherited the stand last year. Of course, CAI wasn’t impressed, and she’ll now have to surrender it.

“I should get the respect due because I’m the oldest and the best operator,” the elder Georgoulakos tells The Wall Street Journal. “Change is good — but in moderation.” He tells ABC, “Now they tell me you got two weeks. Pack, pack your belongings and go. And that’s not right.”

Just how shitty was Zamperla/CAI’s eviction notice? Well, Amusing the Zillion has reprinted the letter in which the landlord acts like it’s doing the Coney vets a favor by even giving them two weeks. It’s said business owners can be fined $2,500 each day they overstay their welcome. Meanwhile, the latest rumor has a “coffee bar” coming to the boardwalk, and the petition to save Ruby’s has grown over 2,000 signatures strong.

Also, it’s said that Zamperla is the front-runner to become the new operator of the Cyclone. Which really sucks, because now if you want to ride the Cyclone, you’ll have to think about whether you want to give your money to the people who killed that other Coney ritual — a beer at Ruby’s.

Coney Island No Fun for Some [WSJ]
End of the Line for Coney Island Businesses [ABC 7]
Paul’s Daughter [Facebook]
Exclusive: Surrender the Premises Letter Sent to Boardwalk Veterans [Amusing the Zillion]

Coney’s Oldest Operator: ‘I Should Get the Respect Due’